21st Century Media.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
  You can't handle the truth.
The other day I was sitting in Curry Student Center, minding my own Wendy's, when two kids at the table next to me were engaged - loudly - in a discussion concerning politics and campaign issues. I couldn't help but notice that every time one of them made a point, the other refuted its credibility, simply stating that he needed to go factcheck.org. Factcheck.org, he repeated, over and over again.

I've visited the site only several times in the past few years, but the guy's vehement support of the Annenberg Political Fact Check made me feel inclined to give it a second look. I have to say, the reporting on the website is great, but it's so... minimal. It's more of a source for investigative journalism than an actual fact checker. I understand completely the value of the site, but in a sense, it's kind of misleading.

What I would like to see - what does not yet exist, but should - is a site with the magnitude of Wikipedia that contains the kind of in-depth political fact checking that only an independent institution could provide. The Campaign Desk, a pre- and post-presidential campaign political fact checker, seemed to literally disappear from the Columbia Journalism Review site, and there has been no definitive place to find any consistent political facts, aside from voting records (which are scattered and inconsistent). Fact-checking, as a career, has seen somewhat of an uprising in recent years, due to the ability of the internet to make anyone an expert - as a past entry of mine demonstrated. Maybe there's a future for me in creating the kind of site I've been looking for. Or maybe politics isn't meant to be decoded by truth. Who knows.

I just wish I could find that kid and tell him he was a little off.
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